The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hello from non gluten land

Catia's picture

Hello from non gluten land

Hi everyone,

I found this site a while ago while searching for gluten free recipes. I have read many reports of people with gluten sensitivities being able to tolerate bread made with European flours and made in the traditional European way. So I went on a search for some of that flour and found some and mail ordered it. I have a couple of starters going and am looking forward to making bread with it in the coming weeks. If this works and I can eat it without any ill effects you may all hear me shouting from wherever you are!

If you have ever had to go without good gluten bread you will understand why I am so hopeful. I use to work in a bakery and also had my own bread business making good hardy European style breads. I had to stop eating it about 2 years ago. In true baker form I set about to make the best gluten free bread and other goodies that I could. I've found some good recipes and developed some of my own but the elusive perfect crumb, alas, cannot be duplicated without some gluten. So here I go again about to try something new. I will be sure to report back here with my results. Oh I do hope this works! 

I'm also wondering if anyone else out there has had a similar experience. I would love to hear your story.


clazar123's picture

Welcome to the land of EVERYTHING bread! Gluten and gluten free!

While this is generally a wheat based bread site, there is a "Baking for Special Needs" forum that has some interesting posts. I have friends that cannot eat wheat or gluten and am very interested in making good tasting breads for them. I would love to hear of your recipes and experiences.

I have learned a lot about GF baking in the last 6 months. However, one of the most important things I learned is that "bread" made with non-wheat flours is not a modern phenomena. They have been made for centuries but once wheat came about, the nonwheat breads and the experience of working with these flours has all but disappeared in Europe,America and even in Asia. So now, gaining familiarity with the non-wheat flours is a steep learning curve (for me, at least) but deliciousness is possible. GF bread is more like rye in its characteristics and using gums and hydrated seeds like flax, psyllium and chia, help make tasty GF bread that has some structure. It will not be the same as the fluffiness of wheat based bread but it will be good. During the learning process I have had (and made) plenty of wheat based bread that lacked flavor or texture and some people accept any bread that is homemade as "good" bread.While the intent makes it a good thing, it may not be a good tasting  bread. So no matter the ingredients, both good and bad can be accomplished! It is a matter of learning the characteristics and abilities of the ingredients and techniques to shape those to the final outcome you want to achieve.

Wheat is wheat and gluten is gluten whether it is European or Russian or American. The sourdough fermentation does seem to make bread more digestible for some but please proceed with caution. I wish you the best in that endeavor.

So my mantra about GF baking  is:

Same tradition-different ingredients-all delicious.


BBQinMaineiac's picture

Welcome to the forum. I hope you make the bread of your dreams.

I also can't imagine life w/o gluten.

I checked the book Flour Power and got this info from it. To find the gluten content of the following grains and seeds is as easy as a google search. Naturally corn is safe, as is quinoa and supposedly it can be made into bread, I suspect but don't know that sorghum doesn't contain gluten (you'll need to research it) and it can be made into flatbread. Amaranth would be another to look into and it's rumored that it can be used in risen breads. There is also buckwheat which doesn't contain gluten, it can be made into noodles and pancakes. Barley can be made into flatbread but can't make risen bread. Oats can also be made into breadstuffs. I've never used it for more than pancakes however.

Rye is low in gluten as is spelt. Can you tolerate even that amount of gluten? I don't need the answer, I just pose the question so that you know it's something for you to decide for yourself.

You might need to buy a grain mill to make flour from the grains above, and if you want to make amaranth flour ask specifically if the mill you're interested in can grind it.

I just meandered down to the special needs section and got to thinking... I wonder if the grains above could make Gougere? If so, that would open up sweets (eclairs, cream puffs) and gougere, while not bread is sort of like bread. I could live on gougere and it's easy to make; with wheat anyway.

Staffo's picture

I have been on the GF journey for a good few years; some of my story is at

Even that elusive crumb is possible. I use a small palette of flours, and only a few at a time. Buckwheat, millet, brown rice flour and sorghum are favourites. Yeasted, fermented, naturally fermented.